Local Indonesian Mass Attracts Catholics From Across Florida
Laughter, food, music, and worship are abundant at all Keluarga Katolik Indonesian, or KKI, group gatherings. This vibrant community is made up of local families who are Catholic and of Indonesian descent. They gather monthly for faith formation and fellowship as participants observe cultural traditions and speak their native language, Bahasa Indonesian.
“We yearn for regular gatherings to be able to forge our friendships, as well as celebrate and exercise our faith freely. We are united under the Indonesian national motto ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika’ or ‘Unity in Diversity’ we are also united through Christ who made us brothers and sisters in Him,” said Francis Mutidjo, KKI community member.
The group started out small in Tampa, back in 2000 when Indonesian families met in each other’s homes for fellowship. Word soon spread and gatherings grew in size, and scope. Bible studies were added, and eventually, with the support of Father Vincent Suparman, KKI’s spiritual advisor, a quarterly Indonesian-language Mass was started. Their most recent Mass was celebrated on October 9, 2021.
The Mass is celebrated at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Lutz and attracts people from across Florida. It is the only place in Florida where Mass is regularly celebrated in the Indonesian language.
“Because of the hunger for the Sacraments, fellowship and Mass said in our language, people travel from Orlando, West Palm Beach and as far as Miami to attend,” said Mutidjo.
Families with children who are trying to maintain the language and traditions at home welcome the chance to reinforce those efforts during Mass and fellowship.
“It’s a challenge to pass our traditions to them, however every time there is an opportunity, we take it,” said Mutidjo, “We want to continue to be connected with our roots.”
Keluarga Katolik Indonesian members say their group is a big family who support one another by sharing their gifts and resources from God spiritually, physically and financially. All the while adding a taste of their homeland to the celebrations.
“Part of our tradition is that every gathering is full of food and everybody brings their own culinary expertise to the table,” said Mutidjo.
The community is continuing to grow with the arrival of Indonesian immigrants to the Tampa Bay area and KKI is always ready to welcome newcomers with open arms.
“We welcome Catholics and those who are interested in the Catholic faith,” said Mutidjo, “Come see, and taste, the goodness of the Lord and the goodness of our food.”
The next Keluarga Katolik Indonesian, KKI Mass is scheduled for January 8, 2022, at Day Chapel Sanctuary, St. Timothy Catholic Church, 17512 Lakeshore Road, in Lutz. To learn more about KKI visit https://www.dosp.org/multicultural/indonesian-ministry/ or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KKITampaFlorida
To view photos of the Indonesian Mass on October 9, 2021, click here.